Former Australian Winter Olympic bobsledder Duncan Pugh has died suddenly at the age of 48 after suffering a brain aneurysm last week.
Pugh, who represented Australia at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, suffered a bleed on the brain in his hometown of Perth.
He could not be saved.
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Tragically, he leaves behind his wife McKenzie and two young sons aged six and seven.
In an obituary published by The West Australian, McKenzie shared her sadness as her husband’s sudden passing.
“We are heartbroken and simply lost for words. Taken far too soon,” she wrote.
“You were the rock of our family and wore your heart on your sleeve. You were so very proud of our two boys, the best dad anyone could have hoped for. Your passion and determination will forever live on in our boys.
“You made me feel the centre of your world. We hope you’re hanging out up there with Dougie. Love you always, your loving wife Kenz, boys Charlie and George and furbaby Lola.”
Pugh taught at catholic school Newman College in Perth for the past 17 years. The school tweeted a tribute.
“Today we share with our community the tragic news of the passing of much loved teacher Mr Duncan Pugh. This beautiful image was provided by his loving wife McKenzie. Please keep McKenzie and sons, Charlie and George in your prayers,” the tweet read.
Bobsleigh and Skeleton Australia also paid tribute to the former Olympian, saying he was “gone far too young”.
“Our small bobsleigh family has taken a big hit this week with the passing of Pughie – Duncan Pugh Vancouver 2010 Olympian, was and will always be remembered as a legend,” it posted on Facebook.
“A fantastic father to his boys, a beloved husband, son, brother and uncle to his family.
“An Olympian with a continued passion for sport. He was adored and highly respected as a teacher and loved by all his friends. Anyone that had a one-on-one conversation with Dunc will know exactly how easy it was to feel comfortable in his presence and grateful for his friendship.”
Pugh, who started as a hurdler, was introduced to bobsleigh by a friend and debuted on the international circuit in 2007 at the age of 32.
He won bronze at the 2009 America’s Cup in Canada with Chris Spring.
He then qualified for the 2010 Vancouver Games but was knocked out in the first round when he and pilot Jeremy Rolleston’s sled flipped over and saw them slide down the course upside-down.
Rolleston’s foot got caught in the steering mechanism as he climbed into the sled and had only just regathered control when the sled tipped over.
The injuries saw the pair eliminated with no further runs and then withdraw from the four-man event as well.
Family friend Levi Bristow has set up a GoFundMe for the Pugh family, and has raised $43,640 to cover medical bills and funeral expenses.